With the demotion of Jordany Valdespin, it was only a matter of time before the Mets found another scapegoat, but who’d have thought fiscally hamstrung GM Sandy Alderson would be a candidate? As Capital New York’s Howard Megdal reports, ownership — resolute in their refusal to openly acknowledge the club’s cash flow woes — “seem to be laying the groundwork for blaming Alderson…sticking with the cover story that unlike every general manager in baseball history, he prefers not to have a larger budget to improve his team.”

“We haven’t turned him down on anything,” Fred Wilpon said of Alderson, who last August described a need for “an infusion of players, productive players” and then repeatedly joked about his outfield before adding a total of two free agents on major league contracts totaling $5 million, both pitchers, both no longer on the active roster.

In a recent background conversation about the owner’s comments, a source close to Alderson told me they were “ridiculous,” and expressed bafflement that Wilpon had appeared to lay blame for the Mets’ lack of spending on the general manager.

“I think we all know he’s turned down more than one move,” the source said. “Not even sure what he means.”

When asked whether he would return the payroll, currently at approximately $90 million (by counting deferred money to Wright and Jason Bay as a 2013 expense) to the $140 million mark of a few seasons ago, Wilpon said this: “I asked Sandy about that. He said he couldn’t invest that much money.”

Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer of the New York Mets and son of Fred, piled on in an appearance on Mike Francesa’s show, where he said that the Mets, under Alderson, are “a little behind where I thought we’d be.”